Home Invasion: When the Home is Stolen Out of Your House

Three a.m. and I am jarred from a dreamless sleep to the sound of a storm of heavy glass raining somewhere on the other side of the house. I nudge my partner, ask if he heard it too. He mumbles some nonsensical explanation about it being something or other belonging to the cat. The smashing sound hadn’t been enough to properly stir him. But I am awake. And I am uneasy.

I slip down the hall barefoot and clad only in a nightgown. I head to the living room, where I suspect the clatter will be a trinket at the mercy of one of the cats. Its not. The flick of the light switch reveals a lounge as we had left it and my cat sitting there in surprise. I retreat into the office but again find nothing amiss.

Finally I head to the room in between the two others, the kitchen. I had left it for last because I knew there was nothing on countertop that could have cause such a ruckus. In the dark, nothing strikes me as out of place. I can see the dark night stretching out from the skewed vertical blinds. It’s black and empty. Then I realize its missing one critical element. I have no reflection overlaying the scene. There is no glass between the night and me. Once my sleepy brain realises this, the ocean of shattered glass across the countertop comes into view.

I wake my partner. We inspect the damage. Nothing has been thrown through. It appears they have tried to muscle our window open. The pressure of their work and the reluctance of our window had lead to the glass explosion. We follow the usual procedures like automatons, and reactions to their actions begin. We find ourselves up to the sunrise contemplating security systems and moving away from our little oasis.

A spectrum of emotions rage through me, my feelings are different from one moment to the next. I am possessed by the fear of the possible. The anger of their assumptions that my few scant treasures should be their own. The betrayal that my home has been threatened. That in one night a stranger has reminded me that even if I feel this is home, the title can be easily stripped away.

In one night they have taken my home and rendered it a house. It is a shell of stone and glass and it is penetrable. People who have no right to enter laugh as they invade. The things I worked hard for, they say they can take it. The worthless treasures I hold dear, they say they can smash and tear asunder.

I dare say I hate these strangers who shattered my night. Hate that they have undermined my belief that this was my home. Still I wonder if maybe they have just slapped me a reality check.

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